Oakland Latham Square Plaza Grand Opening

From EBBC:

Latham Square Plaza is a ‘Pilot Project’ and it open August 16, 12:00noon. Join us!

Oakland is revitalizing the intersection of Broadway and Telegraph as a place for people, by redesigning the 1st block of Telegraph as a pocket park, with the road closed to cars and open to people. Between 16th St and Broadway, Telegraph Avenue will be re-invented as a larger plaza with seating and street furniture and asthetic features to create a social space for people to stay and enjoy a special place in Downtown Oakland.

Fabrication of furniture and planters for the pilot is underway, and Oakland expects the project to be complete and ready for an August 16 grand opening celebration at 12:00noon jointly hosted by CBD and City to acknowledge various recent improvements in downtown Oakland. Join us at a special new people place in downtown Oakland.

Those forces of darkness that are trying to stop the project have subsided, thanks to much outreach by city staff and our members, but we need to as a city make this project succeed so that Oakland can welcome more great places for people to gather and get to know one another.


  • Matt Chambers

    I love parklets, I bike to work, and live in 94612. If you think this plaza is a good idea, then go walk around to Frank H Ogawa Plaza at 7pm any night of the week. Last Tuesday I was walking my dog through FHOP and the -least- negative aspect of my walk was checking on a women who looked like she had fallen on her head in the middle of what use to be 13th St. Turns out she was just really tired from coming off of her high and was enjoying the warm concrete. The worst part was right after that a guy started following me for a few hundred feet while mumbling that he was on to me and that he was going to fuck me up if I looked back at him. That was right in front of OPD’s office on the San Pablo Ave part of the plaza. Why would Latham Square, adjacent to FHOP, be any different?

  • Jamie Parks

    There are a few reasons we hope it will be different:

    1) it’s about 1/30th the size of FOP, so much easier to keep activated
    2) all parts of the plaza are fully visible from Broadway
    3) the City is partnering with the downtown BID to maintain and program the space
    4) it connects much more smoothly with Uptown

  • Matt Chambers

    What’s being constructed is nothing like what had been discussed for almost a decade, which was a pedestrian oriented intersection that still allowed vehicular traffic (like buses and delivery trucks) to use Telegraph.

    Super blocks have proven to be a failed concept in urban planning but Oakland, 40 years after this conclusion, continues to create them or in this case, to add to an existing one: FHOP.

    To speak to your points…

    1. Agreed, smaller is more manageable.

    2. Unfortunately the most visible parts of FHOP are also the most violence prone.

    3.The downtown BID has made zero impact on crime, liter, or the lack of interest in FHOP commercial spaces.

    4.The new plaza cuts off Uptown from Downtown.


Latham Square's moveable street furniture

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Latham Square Plaza Community Design Workshop

Join City of Oakland staff and Rebar for a creative community gathering to envision the Latham Square Plaza pilot. Art and design activities for children and adults! Help design the future of Downtown Oakland! Can’t make the meeting? Share your thoughts on what Latham Square needs at: lathamsquare@gmail.com -or- visit: www.oaklandnet.com/LathamSquare